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09-06-2011 | General practice | Article

Thousands of GPs to quit over reforms


BMA – National survey of GP opinion 2011

Thousands of GPs will retire in the next 2 years because of the NHS reforms, a major BMA survey has revealed.

Interim results of the National survey of GP opinion 2011 suggest that around 6700 GPs in the UK are planning to retire, of whom more than half cite the NHS reforms as a factor in their decision.

Furthermore, around 1300 plan to leave general practice at least in part because of the reforms.

The survey was sent to 47,000 GPs across UK in April and has received 18,000 responses so far. The BMA says the already high response rate (39%) relative to other recent surveys highlights the current strength of feeling among its members.

Other key findings are that more than two-thirds of GPs do not believe consortia will be appropriately skilled or supported and three-quarters believe consortia should not be paid the quality premium for commissioning, while around seven out of ten are concerned over potential conflicts of interest - both in terms of their relationship with patients and their role as both commissioners and providers.

"These results show that GPs have significant concerns about the government's NHS reform plans as they stand," said Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA GPS Committee. "They see the potential in the principle of clinician-led commissioning but there need to be major changes made to the Bill if the Government is to reassure GPs."

He added: "I'm not surprised... to find that two-thirds of GPs are worried about how the new consortia will operate when you consider the laissez-faire approach the Government has taken to planning the new arrangements so far."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Caroline Price